President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina has revealed that the continent’s unmet infrastructure demand worth $68-108 billion a year is a huge opportunity for international investors.
Adesina, who emphasized that the continent could no longer be ignored, added that infrastructure was a “good place to start on investments”.
The bank’s president made this observation on Wednesday while delivering his opening remark to kick-start market trading at the London Stock Exchange (LSE), United Kingdom.
He said, “It’s time to recalibrate UK-Africa trade and investment. And a good place to start on investments is on infrastructure.
“The continent’s unmet infrastructure demand is worth $68-108 billion a year, offering huge opportunities for global investors. The London Stock Exchange can help to unlock a lot of capital for meeting Africa’s investment opportunities.
“The London Stock Exchange is the 3rd largest in the world with a market capitalization of about $4.6 trillion. And Africa is tapping into the London Stock Exchange.”
Adesina, who lauded the success of the African Investment Forum, however, decried the low percentage of institutional investments in the continent.
“The Africa Investment Forum, launched by the African Development Bank, helped to attract investment interests worth $40.1 billion last year, in less than 72 hours.
“We want to do more to leverage institutional investors. With institutional investors holding £8 trillion of assets under management in the UK, and only 1% of that going to Africa, it is time to change the trend,” he said.
He also called for improved relations with the LSE in other to develop capital markets in Africa and to attract UK institutional investors to Africa.
The Bank will be working with the London Stock Exchange Africa Advisory Group to attract a greater portion of the $5 trillion in global Exchange Traded Fund assets under management into African capital markets.